City, County Sign Fairgrounds MOU
Last night, following a lengthy closed session, the Costa Mesa City Council re-convened their open session and voted to sign the Memorandum of Understanding between The City and the County of Orange for a joint-bid to purchase the Orange County Fair and Events Center, should the need arise.
MORE WORK NEEDED, BUT THEY APPROVED IT
Based on the discussion held before the vote, it was clear that some members of the council and city staff feel there are some changes necessary to be hammered out for this MOU to actually work.
FOLEY - DON'T BUY IT, STOP IT!
Katrina Foley, for example, said she was reluctantly supporting this move because she felt the best choice was to stop the sale of the Fairgrounds, not find a way to purchase it. She expressed concern that more effort should have been put toward stopping the sale instead of spending hundreds of hours of staff time preparing and negotiating the MOU.
While Foley is probably right on that issue, the fact remains that this sale continues to move, heading down hill like a runaway train. Unless the governor decides to cancel the sale or, if a miracle were to happen and Jose Solorio's AB1590 were to somehow actually get passed, there WILL be a sale on January 8, 2010.
I think The City has done much to make the Fairgrounds an undesirable purchase for anyone except those who would retain it as a Fairgrounds. The General Plan amendment and the proposed June ballot measure to further solidify the restrictions go a long way to telling any potential developer that The City WILL NOT approve any uses that are not consistent with the General Plan. It's hard to imagine developers wanting to take a very expensive shot at this property with that in place.
BID OPENING, 1/8/10, AUCTION ON 1/14/10
So, the beat goes on... According to the revised time line recently released by The State, yesterday was the deadline for questions on their Addendum #3. Responses to those questions will be posted on 12/22. Unless Sacramento somehow becomes the land of Christmas miracles, the next event will be the opening of bids on January 8th, followed by the auction at which the Fairgrounds will be sold to the highest qualified bidder.
WITH FINGERS CROSSED...
With that in mind, here's today's little bit of Christmas spirit...